The Stolen Necklace

There was a pious bath-woman who used to visit the King’s palace, where everyone respected her. One day, the Queen gave her a necklace worth one thousand dinars for safekeeping before going to take a bath. When the Queen was bathing and this lady was praying, the necklace which was placed on a prayer-mat was carried by a magpie and left in a crevice in the palace. When the Queen came out and asked for her necklace, the lady said that someone from the bathroom might have taken it.

The King ordered the bath-woman to be tortured to bring the truth out. Since she did not take it, they could not bring out a confession. So she was put in the prison and tortured. One day when the King and the Queen were sitting in the palace, they saw a magpie take out the necklace and flying away. Immediately the bird was caught and the necklace retrieved. The King realized his folly of accusing the bath-woman and brought her out of prison and begged her for mercy. He offered her great wealth as atonement. She refused to take the wealth but forgave him and devoted her life to God.

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